The story has been updated to include comments from Exact Sciences conference call.
NEW YORK(GenomeWeb) – Exact Sciences today reported $4.3 million in revenues for the first quarter, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of $4.1 million.
The figure compares to $294,000 in revenues in the year-ago quarter. Revenues for Q1 2015 were completely composed of laboratory service revenues while the year-ago revenues were derived from licensing fees. Exact said that 11,000 Cologuard tests were completed during Q1 2015, while the number of ordering physicians increased to 8,300 at the end of the quarter from 4,100 at the end of 2014.
On a conference call following the release of the firm's financial results, Exact Sciences Chairman and CEO Kevin Conroy said that the firm expects the number of reported Cologuard tests to exceed 18,000 in the second quarter.
"Our results demonstrate that our launch strategy is working and Cologuard's traction is increasing," Conroy said. The launch strategy includes "active outreach" to doctors and patients over the age of 50, and the early feedback indicates a "great demand" for the test, he added.
The firm received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for the non-invasive colorectal cancer screening test in August and a final national coverage decision from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in October.
During the recently completed quarter, Exact and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals reached a co-promotion deal for Cologuard. Exact also received positive coverage decisions from several payors, including Anthem and Aetna for its Medicare Advantage plan, for the test. As a result, more than 60 percent of people in the US aged 50 and over are covered for Cologuard, Conroy said.
Exact posted a net loss of $35.8 million, or $.40 per share, during Q1 2015, compared to a net loss of $16.1 million, or $.23 per share, a year ago. It beat the average analysts' estimate of a loss of $.41 per share.
While its R&D spending was down 11 percent year over year to $6.6 million from $7.4 million, its SG&A costs more than tripled to $29.5 million from $9 million.
The company said that it grew its sales force in the quarter to 140 from 80. By June 1, Exact expects to hire 60 additional sales staff, Conroy said on the call.
The firm exited Q1 2015 with $40.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $204.5 million in marketable securities.
”As you see, our first quarter was another period of success and growth for Cologuard, and Exact Sciences remains on a strong path," Conroy said.
In afternoon trading on Monday on the Nasdaq, shares of Exact were up almost 10 percent to $24.17.